The Canterbury tales
Geoffrey Chaucer
F.N. Robinson

interpretacio nominis Cecilie quam ponit Frater Jacobus Januensis in legenda

First wolde I yow the name of seint cecilie
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Expowne, as men may in hir storie see.
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It is to seye in englissh hevenes lilie,
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For pure chaastnesse of virginitee;
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Or, ofr she whitnesse hadde of honestee,
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And grene of conscience, and of good fame
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The soote savour, lilie was hir name.
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Or cecilie is to seye the wey to blynde,
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For she ensample was by good techynge;
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Or elles cecile, as I writen fynde,
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Is joyned, by a manere conjoynynge
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Of hevene and lia; and heere, in figurynge,
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The hevene is set for thoght of hoolynesse,
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And lia for hire lastynge bisynesse.
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Cecile may eek be seyd in this manere,
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Wantynge of blyndnesse, for hir grete light
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Of sapience, and for hire thewes cleere;
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Or elles, loo, this maydens name bright
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Of hevene and leos comth, for which by right
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Men myghte hire wel the hevene of peple calle,
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Ensample of goode and wise werkes alle.
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For leos peple in englissh is to seye,
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And right as men may in the hevene see
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The sonne and moone and sterres every weye,
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Right so men goostly in this mayden free
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Seyen of feith the magnanymytee,
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And eek the cleernesse hool of sapience,
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And sondry werkes, brighte of excellence.
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And right so as thise philosophres write
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That hevene is swift and round and eek brennynge,
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Right so was faire cecilie the white
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Ful swift and bisy evere in good werkynge,
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And round and hool in good perseverynge,
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And brennynge evere in charite ful brighte.
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Now have I yow declared what she highte.
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